10-year-old detained by police for peeing in public, mother says

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 5:28 AM EDT
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SENATOBIA, Miss. (WHBQ) - A Mississippi mother says police went overboard when they detained her 10-year-old son and took him to jail for public urination.

Latonya Eason stopped by an attorney’s office for legal advice last Thursday in Senatobia. She says within as little as 10 minutes, a police officer interrupted the meeting. He caught her 10-year-old son, Quantavious Eason, urinating behind her car.

“I was like, ‘Son, why did you do that?’ He said, ‘Mom, my sister said they ain’t got a bathroom in there.’ I was like, ‘Well, you knew better. You should have came and asked me if they had a restroom,’” Eason said.

The mother says the responding officer was going to simply offer her son a warning.

“So, he was like, ‘Since you handled it like a mom, then he could just get back in the car,’” Eason said.

But she says things took a turn for the worse when several other officers showed up.

“Another officer came over there and was like, ‘Your son gotta get out of the car. He gotta be arrested because he can’t do that,” Eason said.

“I started crying a little bit. They took me down there and got me out of the truck. I didn’t know what was happening,” Quantavious said. “I get scared and start shaking and thinking I’m going to jail.”

Quantavious was taken to the police station, where he says he was held in a jail cell. His mother believes the officers went overboard in their response.

“I’m just speechless right now because for one, I can’t believe it happened. Why would you arrest a 10-year-old kid?” Eason said.

She says they charged Quantavious with child in need of services then released him to her.

“That could really traumatize my baby. My baby could get to the point where he don’t wanna have an encounter with police – period,” she said.

The police chief issued a statement, saying the officer did not see a parent on the scene during the initial contact with the 10-year-old. The mother was found at a nearby business a short time later and told her son was going to get a youth court referral.

He went on to say taking the boy to the police station was a mistake.

“Under these circumstances, it was an error in judgement for us to transport the child to the police station since the mother was present at that time as a reasonable alternative,” he said.

The police chief added the boy was not handcuffed during the incident.